As part of the PST LA/LA Art Shuttle Weekend, Cog•nate Collective invites the public to their MICA (Mobile Institute for Citizenship + Art) trailer located outside Ben Maltz Gallery as part of the exhibition Talking to Action, to make song dedications to fellow citizens -- to the polis -- to produce a zine + playlist compilation that will reside within the MICA trailer. Leaf through and pick your dedication from a selection of love songs that speak to our collective affective ties and the dissonance/resonance that exist between members of our Alta/Baja California border region.
As part of MICA’s exploration of the ways the cultural affects of a market can assume political effect — by establishing (extra-national) relational ties with others that (can) set the foundation for political recognition + solidarity — we would like to collaborative produce a cartonera zine + playlist featuring love songs dedicated to the polis — to fellow citizens.
The public in attendance will be invited to leaf through extracts of pre-selected song-lyrics — from music that is part of the sonic landscape of Southern California swap meets (e.g. oldies) — and pick out one they feel most represents their relationship with/to their fellow citizens. The songs will range from expressing love and friendship, to longing and/or even disdain.
The lyrics will be printed out on large pieces of cardboard that participants will be asked to hold on a small platform as the song plays from the MICA trailer behind them. Photographs of participants with their selections, as well as small extracts of conversations about their selections, will form the basis of a Cartonera Zine + CD that will be featured in the MICA trailer for the duration of the exhibition.
About Cog•nate Collective
Cog•nate Collective—active since 2012 in Los Angeles, California and Tijuana, Mexico––consists of artists + researchers Misael Diaz and Amy Sanchez. Diaz spent his childhood crossing the border from Tijuana to San Diego every day to go to school. Sanchez grew up in Texas, crossing to Mexicali frequently to visit her extended family. The two met while studying art history at UCLA and recognized their shared understanding of the US/Mexico border region as something more nuanced than the dominant narratives portrayed. For them, crossing the border was an almost banal, everyday occurrence, like a membrane which communities share from both sides.
Cog•nate Collective’s MICA (Mobile Institute for Citizenship + Art) is a nomadic platform to construct alternative modalities for political dialogue and collective action in artistic + pedagogical projects that foster social/cultural exchange with/in migrant communities throughout the TJ/LA border region. Using public/informal markets throughout Southern California and northern Mexico for research and intervention, MICA seeks to transform these sites (and the greater border region) into incubators for reimagining ways of understanding and enacting citizenship in spite of national delimitations.